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The main Power Trio
The main characters, who form the central cast for most stories, especially the older and the more adventure-centric ones:
Bamse, the ego of the Power Trio, is a small brown bear, usually dressed in blue. He's actually pretty small for a bear (but was apparently quite large at birth) He is described as "The world's strongest, and nicest, bear." and prefers the latter title to the former. He becomes incredibly strong by eating a special honey ('Dunderhonung,' which loosely translated means "Thunder Honey") cooked by his grandmother. Married with four children. While having had a variety of jobs, Bamse most commonly works as a lumberjack. His name means "big" and is also a euphemism for "bear".
- The Big Guy: Despite being rather small.
- Does Not Know His Own Strength: Occasionally (there are amusing scenes of him attempting carpentry while super-strong and simply breaking stuff)
- Fearless Fool: Although self-aware enough to know this
- The Hero
- Nice Hat
- Nice Guy: He values kindness over everything else, to the point of almost being a Wide-Eyed Idealist at times.
- Papa Wolf
- Parental Abandonment: Due to shipwreck
- Power-Up Food: Dunderhonung. It only works for him, though; with very few exceptions, anyone else who eats it gets a stomachache that lasts for three days.
- Super Strength: Temporarily
- Technical Pacifist: Hitting people is wrong, but throwing them several miles is perfectly OK.
- Wide-Eyed Idealist: The world of Bamse isn't quite cynical enough for this trope to be played completely straight, but Bamse does have a tendency to think better of people than they really deserve, and has often been manipulated or played for a fool by villains who knew how to exploit his desire to see the best in everyone.
- World's Strongest Man: Well... bear
The id of the Power Trio, is a tortoise of indeterminable age. Definitely brains of the group, although his effectiveness and borderline Deus Ex Machina nature is often checked by his obsessive adherence to a complicated schedule of eating and sleeping, governed by his "Eat-and-sleep clock". Directly translated his name becomes "Shell-man".
- Arbitrary Skepticism: him *having worked for not one but two evil wizards* and having multiple encounters with witches.
- Awesomeness By Analysis: Has outshot Robin Hood and beaten the world records at discus and polejumping (on separate occasions) using mathematics.
- Creature of Habit
- Cue O'Clock
- Cunning Linguist
- Deadpan Snarker
- For Science!: The reasoning for a good chunk of his inventions. In fact, he directly states on several occasions that he doesn't care overly much avout his finished inventions -- it's the process of inventing that interests him. (The ones he keeps and uses after they're finished are usually the ones designed to make life more comfortable for him or will help him learn new things; any other invention, no matter how brilliant or revolutionizing, he'll either casually give away or -- if he thinks it's too dangerous -- destroy.)
- Heavy Sleeper: When Skalman sleeps, he is completely unwakable. This is used to lower his Dexhina-ness.
- Honorary Uncle: Not actually named as such, but still fulfills the role for Bamse's and Lille Skutt's children.
- Mad Scientist: In his youth.
- Mr. Exposition
- Mysterious Past
- Nice Hat
- Older Than They Look: Skalman is apparently several hundred years old, having claimed to have trained The Three Musketeers and having relatives he has not visited in centuries.
- Omniscient Hero
- Perfectly Cromulent Word: A frequent user
- The Professor: The little-known English translation from the 1960s even Lampshaded this by giving him the name "Professor Shellback."
- Schedule Fanatic
- Shorter Means Smarter: Averted. Skalman is the tallest of the three.
- The Smart Guy
- The Spock
- The Stoic
Is the superego of the Power Trio, and the youngest of a large litter of rabbits (most of which have punny names about jumping) in the adventure stories his task is generally to fetch things, as he's the fastest of the group. He is usually the person to complain about heading into dangerous situations but inevitably follows anyway. Married since 1985 to Nina Kanin ("Nina Rabbit"). When not doing something else, he works as a mailman. His name means "little hop" or "little jump".
- Cowardly Lion: Frequently lampshaded; despite being constantly afraid he always comes through in the end.
- Deadpan Snarker: Often when Bamse decides to trust or be kind to a villain, Skutt will think he's making a bad decision and/or snark about it.
- Fragile Speedster
- Half-Dressed Cartoon Animal: He's completely naked except for the trademark red bow tie.
- Heroes Love Dogs: He has a pet dog named Lurvas, whom he saved from drowning and has kept ever since.
- Horrible Judge of Character: Is often quick to judge people by a first impression, which is usually never a good thing. Subverted occasionally when he turns out to be right.
- Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: Or in his case, wolves.
The families of the main trio, who play important parts in the comic and -- in the case of the children -- are the main faces of the second-generation Cast Herd.
Bamse's paternal grandmother, who raised him after his parents were lost at sea, and who makes the dunderhonung. Even in her old age, she is incredibly strong and agile, and more than capable of taking care of herself -- as most of the villains who have tried interferring with her have discovered.
- Badass Grandma: And how.
- Cool Old Lady
- Honorary Grandma: Most of the cast call her "Farmor" (Grandma), no matter if they're actually related to her or not. Only a few of the senior citizens regularly call her by her real name, Augusta Beata.
- Parental Substitute: To Bamse. (Later on, his parents proved to still be alive.)
- Trickster Mentor: She occasionally shows signs of this, though only towards villains who try messing with her or her family.
Bamse's long-time girlfriend who eventually became his wife.
- Action Mom: Not the most obvious example, but in later years she has become more of one.
- Limited Wardrobe: While all the characters in the comic follow this trope, Bummelisa has an interesting variant in that she changed her regular outfit for a different one when she got married.
- Mama Bear: Literally. Though she is less obvious about it than Bamse or Farmor, you threaten her family at your own risk.
One of Bamse's triplets, a talented artist and sensitive soul; the Ego of the secondary Power Trio.
- Afraid of Blood: In one story, he faints at the sight of it (though it later turned out to be ketchup and not blood at all).
- Nice Guy: Of all Bamse's children, he's probably the closest to his father in temperament.
- Non-Action Guy: His sister is the very model of an Action Girl and his brother a Badass Bookworm, leaving him as this.
- True Art Is Angsty: Usually, Brum's artwork is pretty cheery, but the trope was invoked in the story where he went through a "dark" period due to a rejection from a girl he liked and was promptly "discovered" as an artist.
The second of Bamse's triplets; The Smart Guy of the younger generation (or sometimes even to the adults when Skalman is not around). An avid reader and collector of knowledge, he's the definite Superego of the secondary Power Trio.
- Badass Bookworm: With a heavy accent on the "bookworm."
- Blind Without'Em: When he was very young, his parents and siblings thought he was The Klutz because he kept tripping over things. Turned out he simply had very bad eyesight, and after he got his glasses his clumsy streak lessened considerably.
- Mr. Exposition: Occasionally, but nowhere near Skalman's level.
- Intergenerational Friendship: All Bamse's children have these, but Teddy's friendship with Skalman is by far the most notable.
The third of Bamse's triplets, and one of the very few characters in the comic to gain super-strength from dunderhonung (though in her case, she also gets the three-day-long stomachache, after the strength had faded -- which is why she only eats the honey if it's an emergency). She's the Id of the secondary Power Trio.
- Plucky Girl: By far the most adventurous and fearless of Bamse's children; she saves the day roughly as often as she gets into trouble.
- Little Miss Badass: Even without superstrength, she more than qualifies for this trope.
- Tomboy: Though she does wear a dress, she is definitely one.
Bamse's youngest daughter, Friend to All Living Things, and utterly adorable Cheerful Child with a smile that can melt the hearts of even the most hardened crooks. Some time after her birth, she was revealed as intellectually handicapped with serious communication and learning disabilities, which famously led to what's often regarded as the comic's Crowning Moment of Heartwarming; the story "A Liberating Smile." She is the only character in the comic on whom dunderhonung has no effect whatsoever; it doesn't make her strong and it doesn't give her stomachaches.
- Children Are Innocent: She is utterly incapable of seeing the bad in anyone, and is always the first to go and hug anyone who's looking upset.
- Hulk Speak: She sometimes uses this and sometimes not.
- Imaginary Friend: She often visit the anthropomorphic household articles who live in an imaginary land under the kitchen sink.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: Blue, with her best friend Mini-Hopp being the red half. Their fur colors are light brown and white, respectively, but their usual clothes are a perfect match.
Lille Skutts's wife, and the second half of the series' Beta Couple. For the longest of time, they were in a Cannot Spit It Out courtship, until he finally managed to propose (and promptly fainted when she immediately said yes).
- Intrepid Reporter: Averted. While she does work as a newspaper reporter, she largely avoids the trope, and has also been seen as sharing the mail route with her husband.
The son of Lille Skutt and Nina Kanin; he's Brumma's age and her best friend. He has inherited his father's speed and ability for large leaps -- making his name, which means "Mini-Jump" a largely ironic one. (This was at one point Lampshaded by Teddy, who wondered if the kid shouldn't have been named "Maxi-Hopp" instead.) Unlike his father, he is not afraid of anything and will cheerfully leap into and out of any danger he may encounter.
- Fearless Fool: And, due to his age, far less self-aware about it than Bamse.
- Keet: Probably the purest example of the trope in the entire series.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: Red, to Brumma's blue. He's impulsive and energetic while she's calm and serene. Their favorite clothes are, naturally, red and blue.
- Abusive Parents: Abusive step-parents, anyway -- they didn't even bother to give him a proper name, just calling him "lilla vargen" ("little wolf"). Which is why he is now the only wolf in the comic whose name is "Wolf."
- All of the Other Reindeer: Or more specific, all of the other wolves.
- Clear My Name: After his Heel Face Turn, other villains were very prone to use him as a clueless scapegoat. Usually, Skalman was the only one to believe Vargen in these situations.
- Corruption of a Minor: As his Start of Darkness.
- Dynamic Character: The most prominent example in the comic.
- Freudian Excuse
- Heel Face Turn
- Heel Face Revolving Door: For a while after his first Turn, but he eventually settled for Face.
- Make It Look Like an Accident: During his darkest moments as a villain, he often planned to kill Bamse and friends in this manner. Favourite method? Massive boulder crushing Skalmans car.
- Scary Black Man: Initially, he is this for Lille Skutt.
- Species Surname: Actually a Species ONLY Name, since Vargen literary means "the Wolf".
- Start of Darkness: Often regarded as the best Bamse story ever. This is also a...
- Token Minority: He's the only black wolf among gray wolves, not counting his biological parents seen only in the first page of his Start of Darkness.
- Unlucky Childhood Friend
- White Sheep: After his Heel Face Turn.
Katten Jansson and Husmusen
Farmor's pet cat and mouse, who frequently act as Team Pets on various adventures. Unlike the other main characters, they are (fairly) non-anthropomorphic animals, adding to the Furry Confusion of the comic.
- All of the Other Reindeer: Other cats mock Jansson for being friends with a mouse. He usually gets his comeuppance.
- Ambiguous Gender: Or possibly a very strong case of Viewer Gender Confusion. Husmusen is usually identified as male, but in several stories and adaptations (and even sometimes on the letter page) is referred to as female.
- Animal Talk: The most obvious example here, as Katten Jansson and Husmusen can talk to each other and to any other non-anthropomorphic animals, but not to the anthropomorphic ones. They are shown to perfectly understand what Bamse and Farmor say to them, though.
- Art Evolution: Husmusen is possibly the only character in the comic to be notably affected by this -- unlike just about everyone else, he looks markedly different in later appearances.
- Cats Are Mean: Mostly averted; Jansson can be selfish and mischevious, but is basically good-hearted.
- Expy: Jansson looks and acts almost exactly like Colombus, the pet cat of Lille Rickard (a previous comic by Rune Andreasson), and Husmusen owes a lot of his appearance (especially in earlier comics, before the Art Evolution kicked in) to the toy mouse Pip, from Pellefant (yet another earlier Rune Andreasson comic). Furthermore, their friendship is a lot like that of Pellefant and Pip from that comic, with Jansson's personality being a lot like a toned-down version of Pellefant's.
- Furry Confusion
- Those Two Guys: Or possibly Those Two Team Pets?
- Vitriolic Best Buds: Type 2, mild case. They love to prank, trick and tease one another, but are still the best of friends. In addition, they occasionally team up in a similar Vitriolic Best Buds relationship with Lurvas, Lille Skutt's pet dog.
Krösus Sork (Croesus Vole)
Rich capitalist and Corrupt Corporate Executive who will do anything for profit. He's probably the closest thing the comic has to a Big Bad -- there have been several villains who were both more evil and bigger threats, but they were usually One Shot Characters -- and is consistently portrayed as one of the very few characters with little or no hope for redemption.
- Cain and Abel: He has this dynamic with his brother Slösus (the name is a pun on the word slösa, which means "squander"), who is kind, generous and constantly broke because he gives away all his money. This dynamic was what led to the...
- Moral Event Horizon: Crossed it at the very beginning of his career, when his more popular and successful brother won a huge amount of money in the lottery. Krösus stole the winning ticket and left a fake one in its place, which resulted not only in Krösus getting the prize money with which he'd start his fortune, but his brother going to jail for forgery and fraud.
- Karma Houdini: Sort of. He is one of the more successful villains is the story, and one of few who acctually succeed with his plans every now and then. Even when his greedy schemes fail or backfire, he's never arrested because there is never enough evidence to incriminate him. His mooks, the fixer-voles, frequently take the fall for him.
- Meaningful Name: Though it turns out that "Krösus" ("Croesus",) was simply an ironic childhood nickname his classmates gave him because he never had any money. Possibly as a Take That to them, he adopted the name as his own when he really did get rich.
- Pet the Dog: While most of his "nice" acts are just for show and usually done with some sinister or at least selfish motive, he did on one occasion save Bamse from drowning because he just couldn't abandon him to his fate.
- Start of Darkness: Like Vargen, he eventually got an origin story that gave him a Freudian Excuse for his villainous behavior.
- Villain with Good Publicity: Outworthy, he remains a legal and law-abiding businessman. While he basically heads and finances all the organized crime in his hometown, he makes sure to keep his own hands clean.
- The Unfavorite: The entire reason for not only his relationship with his brother, but for his criminal career.